tar deletes .exe files on extraction (again)

Steve Atkins steve@blighty.com
Fri Sep 23 16:15:00 GMT 2011

In the process of trying to build Qt on Windows in a cygwin shell, I've discovered that neither tar nor unzip will work reliably under Cygwin - untaring an archive will not correctly create the files that the archive contains. The "configure.exe" that's required to build Qt is never extracted from the tarball.

The problem is that the cygwin filesystem shims consider "configure" and "configure.exe" to be almost the same, despite their having different filenames, so when tar extracts an archive containing both it ends up deleting the existing "configure.exe" when it creates "configure".

This was discussed a couple of years ago - http://cygwin.com/ml/cygwin/2009-08/msg00293.html - and the conclusion seemed to be that cygwin was working as designed, and the user just shouldn't ever be doing anything that requires both "foo" and "foo.exe" under cygwin, and that if they do want to do that, they probably shouldn't be using cygwin.

That seems like a fairly nasty limitation / bug, and makes use of the cygwin shell a bit too brittle to rely on for build automation - I'm wondering if anyone knows if there's been any change in the situation since then?


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